Play is one of the most important things our children and young people do on a daily basis.

Play is not just about playgrounds – although we do have some fantastic ones. Play is something children need to do in an unstructured way every day, in places where they live and move about in their everyday lives. 

Play is where we learn new skills and practise old ones, develop resilience and creative thinking, move our bodies, build strength and awareness of our limits and be challenged in ways that directly impact mental and physical development.

We want to support communities, families and local tamariki to play as often and as easily as possible.

The importance of play in Aotearoa

To read more about the importance of play and the different ways you can encourage all kinds of play for children, read the Ihi Aotearoa Sport New Zealand importance of play article.(external link)

To learn more about children’s right to play and how to support play opportunities as a fundamental right of New Zealand children, based on Article 31 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.(external link)

To learn more about the importance of playing in nature for fostering creativity, physical and mental health and growing environmentally responsible communities, read the Benefits of connecting children with nature - education factsheet(external link) from the Department of Conservation.

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